Andrew Robertson, president-CEO of BBDO North America, and Ted Sann, vice chairman-chief creative officer, North America, will each assume part of his duties. Mr. Dusenberry spent 33 of his 40 years in the business with BBDO.
Mr. Dusenberry, 65, has been contemplating retirement for some time. "I never would have considered it if I felt we weren't in great shape," he said. "It's something you just have to let go of."
"He was coming to me over the past few years saying, `Ah, Allen, I think it's time,'" said Allen Rosenshine, chairman-CEO, BBDO Worldwide. "And I would say it wasn't his time. I still don't think so."
Mr. Dusenberry, who began his career as a copywriter at BBDO in 1962, ranked No. 31 on Ad Age's list of the 20th century's 100 most influential advertising people.
Mr. Dusenberry introduced the era of big-money celebrity endorsements when he signed Michael Jackson for Pepsi-Cola Co. spots in the 1980s. He coined themes such as General Electric Co.'s "We bring good things to life" and was part of the 1984 Tuesday Team whose ads helped re-elect President Ronald Reagan.